SurfWatch (SW): You came into Second Life (SL) in 2011. Have you been here this whole time? Or like me, have you taken a break and returned?
Aquadoc (A): Yes, I have, averaging about 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, but I will be cutting back soon. I just bought a farm in Real Life (RL) and need to get that set up.
SW: You have one of the more unique avatars - you didn't go for the typical. Tell me how that came about.
A: Well, actually this is an avi [avitar] that started out as an alt [alternate avitar] and became my main avi. When I bought my sim some years ago, I set it up as my home town in the year 2034. So I created an alt that would look like me when that year arrives. Also, my original young dude alt became too attractive to women and I could not get anything done, because of a bunch of gals pestering me.
SW: (Laughs) Okay, I don't know if you're kidding me about the last part, but I love the idea of having a future alt - how creative! So what brought you into SL originally?
A: I was invited to a wedding in SL back in 2010. It took me 3 days to get to that wedding, and I managed to stumble in just before the ceremony wearing only boxer shorts and one shoe. By the way, that is true about the younger, sexier alt (smiles).
SW: (Laughs) So where does the name Aquadoc come from?
A: Well, early in life my friends called me 'Doc' which is typical for those who are the sons of doctors. When I lived and surfed in Mexico during the 1970s, the Mexicans added the 'Aqua' part on, and I became Aquadoc.
SW: You're an RL surfer?
A: Oh yes!! A Great Lakes surf legend!! Started in 1963!
SW: Wow - surfed the Great Lakes in RL???
A: Oh yes! The water can get up to 80 in the summer and usually holds above 60 into November. I do have a very special shot of me that won the Eastman Kodak Sports Picture of the Year Award shot in a contest in 1968:
That is also me reading Surf mag in a 1959 VW delivery van. Drove it out to North Carolina on a surfing safari, Parked it and camped right on the beach.
SW: So from that background, you come into SL. Did you find SL surfing right away?
A: Not right away, and it took awhile to figure it out. My first 3 months in SL, I just sat in one spot and looked out over the ocean.
SW: That sounds like me (laughs). So what happened - you started wandering around or you deliberately sought out a beach?
A: My first day in SL, I was kidnapped by vampires and held prisoner on their island.
SW: Oh my gawd (laughing).
A: Oh yeah, I think I found surfing by just searching around. Then I got a beach bungalow at Monkey (Cove).
SW: Oh, yeah, in 2011, Monkey was still hopping, wasn't it? The Aussie team still stayed there?
A: Yeah, and I loved the Aussies. I learned to like the Aussies in Mexico when I surfed there.
SW: Did you see people surfing or you just grabbed a board and...
A: Petra (Xaris) was the one who really got me into surfing and the SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association). I met her more though horse racing, though.
SW: You met Petra and she got you started in competition surfing?
A: Yes, Petra did that. But I was racing horses with her before that. She kept telling me about it.
SW: About when was it that you started competition surfing?
A: Maybe about 3 years ago. I had done some competitive surfing in RL with the GLSA (Great Lakes Surfing Association). I am the present director of the GLSA.
SW: I love these classic pictures so much.
A: Yeah, that is 'old school'.
SW: Definitely but they rawwwwk!
SW: What kind of board do you prefer to ride in SL nowadays?
A: I love that HP board from the rezzer and wish I could get one of those rezzers for my sim. Too bad I can't.
SW: I know, right? Everyone wants one.
A: I'd pay to rent one.
SW: What about your wave preference? Did you ever ride an SL Epic? Or do you prefer the Maoli waves? Or pipes...flufflies...
A: I love that wave at Solace now and the HP board, that is my favorite setup and most like real surfing.
SW: Who if anyone in SL has had an influence on your surf style?
A: Hmmmm, well, you may notice that I do not like flips and all that crazy acrobatic gymnastic stuff. I want to keep it real. So, I am not sure anyone has influenced me, but a number of the better surfers have helped me.
SW: Yeah, there's always been that tug of war between the SL surfers that want to keep it real and the ones that surf like a video game.
A: Yeah, it seems a bit insulting to surfing to have the flips and crazy stuff. Surfing is an art form, almost a religion to some.
SW: Do you knew where you are in the standings right now?
A: Well, my goal was to some day make the HoF (Hall of Fame), and I did that, so now I just cruise and stick with it. I guess I might be 7-10 in standings. Don't ever check that.
SW: Tell me about making the H0F.
A: I got it for my overall dedication to SL surfing, and how I treat the people around me.
SW: Congratulations, Aquadoc! (Fist pump!)
A: Thank you!! It was a huge honor for me!
SW: So do you have a goal with SL surfing? I ask because it's fun when we follow up with surfers years later and see if they accomplished what they set out to do. I know the HoF was a goal but you still surf, so maybe you have a secondary.
A: I would love to get my fellow Great Lakes surfers into SL. I also want to make more surf movies!
SW: SL surf movies?
A: Yes. This is one that I made a few years ago. It is very crude, but a fun start and I have been in a famous RL surf movie "Step Into Liquid"
SW: Is this filmed at your sim?
A: Yes. Grand Haven Futuresurf. Grand Haven, Michigan, is my home town.
SW: Is your sim open to the public or is it private surfing?
A: All are welcome at my sim. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Grand%20Haven%20Futuresurf/247/141/22
Hopefully that is not to my daughter's skybox home! (Laughs). She asked me "Daddy, can I build a skybox home?" 2500 prims later she had her home. Kids!!!!
SW: (Laughs). Who is your daughter? Let's give her a shout out.
A:: Her name is Naomi Aquadoc and she is my SL daughter. She is a UK/German living in Germany
SW: well honorable mention to your SL daughter!
A: Wonderful person.
SW: You mentioned a shop - tell us about that.
A: Oh! ha-ha! Aquadoc Waterbeds established 1987on my 40th birthday.
SW: There are waterbeds in SL?
SW: So besides surfing, you breed SL horses? Anything else you do besides surfing and horses in SL?
A: In SL I am a champion jockey, but in real life I'm kinda scared of horses. I do bet horse races in RL. That's pretty much it in SL. That's enough. I do some Civil War RP, and I race chariots at Roma
SW: (Laughs) You seem like your RL and SL mingle a little bit.
A: Hard to tel the difference. For many of us, RL is SL
SW: That's true, especially if you spend significant time in here. There's always that cross-over.
Is there something you would tell your 2011 self that you know today and you wish you knew then?
A: Yes, in fact I wish I could tell myself stuff only a few days ago (laughs).
SW: (Laughs). Like what?
A: I've made mistakes in SL. Well, occasionally you run into the wrong type of people in SL and I wish I would have handled that better
SW: Give me an example - you might be helping someone else avoid a mistake.
A: Well, never be too quick to respond and keep your emotions in check. Oh, best, too, not to drink while on the computer.
SW: Anything else you want to mention?
A: Yeah, avoid drama at all costs.
SW: Thank you for your time, it's been a great pleasure to get to know you. I hope we can collaborate on some future projects. Want to go hit some waves?